Banded Ash Borers

Asked December 28, 2019, 5:38 PM EST

I am a wood turner, I find and process wood frequently in my area. Processing is cutting the wood to size, splitting it and covering the ends with wax to control the drying process. I then store the wood on drying shelves in my garage, an unheated, dry environment. While processing some Ash this weekend I found some Banded Ash Borers in the wood (I've included pictures). My question is how dangerous are these little buggers? Will the life cycle be interrupted now or will they all come out in the Spring and feast on all the wood in my garage. Could they boar into the structure of my garage? Should I just burn this wood?

Howard County Maryland insect issues ash borer

1 Response

These do indeed look like Banded Ash Borers.
There is some information on their life cycle and behavior here on page 5 of this IPM report from spring 2017: https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/ipmnet/17Apr07L.pdf Essentially, while they do feed on dead or dying wood, they need bark on that wood to lay eggs (or to be drawn to lay eggs) and so wood such as in your garage structure should be safe. The warmer garage conditions probably triggered the emergence of adults as they would have in spring - even unheated it's warmer than outdoor temperatures - and as the article states, others may yet emerge later if they have not yet finished developing. They should not cause any further problems, however, and your wood should be fine to use. (Though of course, bored tunnels are probably not what you're looking for.) If you are concerned about them breeding successfully and infesting more raw Ash pieces, protecting unused stores by making them inaccessible to the adult beetles wouldn't hurt.

Miri